Trim the Cat statue

Trim the Cat statue, Mitchell Library, Sydney, Australia

Public Art : Trim the Cat statue

Sculptor : © John Cornwell

Date Unveiled: On 28 March 1996 by Rear-Admiral David Campbell.

Description : Small bronze statue of Trim the cat, it's right paw raised and its head looking in the direction of the Matthew Flinders Statue (its beloved master). Fittingly, Trim, the ever the faithful companion, permanently watches the back of his master.

Location : Perched on one of the window ledges (facing Macquarie Street) of the Mitchell Library, right behind the statue of Matthew Flinders.

Funded by : North Shore Historical Society

History of Trim the Cat : Trim the cat you may well ask? Yes this brave little feline was a beloved pet of Matthew Flinders. The black cat with white paws, chest and chin was actually born on the HMS Reliance in 1797 during a journey from Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay. When only a little kitten it tumbled overboard into the ocean. Flinders and the crew were stunned as they watched the poor little tyke swim back to the ship and clawed its way back up a rope. Impressed, Flinders named the near drowned kitten after the faithful butler in Laurence Sterne's novel Tristram Shandy. From that moment on Trim and Flinders were inseparable and the cat continued to accompany him on all of his journeys.
Trim sailed on the HMS Investigator and survived the shipwreck of the Porpoise on the Wreck Reef at the Great Barrier Reef (1803) before heading back to England on the Cumberland. Unfortunately for Flinders and Trim the journey didn't go quite as expected and the two found themselves detained by the French on the island of Mauritius. There on the island Trim and Flinders kept each other company until one day Trim simply disappeared. Flinders feared his trusty companion had been nabbed by hungry slaves and eaten. To read more about Trim click Purr 'n' Fur.

Trim the Cat Inscription :

The best and most illustrious of his race
The most affectionate of friends,
faithful of servants,
and best of creatures
He made the tour of the globe, and a voyage to Australia,
which he circumnavigated, and was ever the
delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers
Written by Matthew Flinders in memory of his cat
Memorial donated by the North Shore Historical Society

Trim the Cat Trivia : Inside the Mitchell Library you will find numerous Trim the Cat souvenirs at the gift store. Trim is a marketing phenomenon.

Trim was said to be quite vain and took great pleasure in showing off his snow white feet to all the crew.

Always first to the dinner table, Trim, would patiently wait until everyone had been served their meal before systematically helping himself to each persons plate. Beware the man who denied the feline, he would wait until the right time before stealing his share.

Trim was great mates with an Aboriginal named Bongaree.

Matthew Flinders' crew loved the cat and often taught him tricks. 


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